Political class and insurance companies in an ugly dance of death
Lots of Americans are starting to feel the immense pain inflicted on all of us by a corrupt, for-profit insurance industry run amok.
A non-partisan Health confidence study recently released by the Employee Benefit Research Institute revealed that 52% or more than half of those surveyed were dissatisfied with the cost of health insurance, a sharp increase from last year's results.
And may I remind you again, that skyrocketing healthcare costs have nothing to do with medical liability. This is a Republican strawman, as bogus as the weapons of mass destruction we were going to find in Iraq.
Criminal insurance companies like Wellpoint, are recruiting premium-paying suckers like you and me, in an effort to achieve profits. They're also trimming overhead.
The company's medical enrollment rose by 5.2 million members to 34.2 million from a year earlier, including about 4.8 million members added through its $6.5-billion purchase of rival WellChoice Inc. in December.http://www.latimes.com/...
However, Bank of America analyst Joseph France said in a research note that WellPoint's medical enrollment grew by only 27,000 members from the second quarter -- "really disappointing for a company that enrolls business year-round."
Really disappointing? Of course, they take our money, then deny our claims.
Do you know what insurance companies consider "overhead"?
You and me, and our healthcare needs are overhead. Our illnesses are eating into insurance company profits.
WellPoint Inc. said Wednesday that quarterly profit rose 27% as the health insurer better controlled overhead, but it cut its full-year enrollment forecast and reported medical cost trends that disappointed some analysts.http://www.latimes.com/...
But I fear, I really do, that those of you who think that barring a miracle there won't be Congressional investigations of this corrupt industry might be correct.
The insurance industry is literally throwing money at politicians of both parties. Demanding that our representatives (they work for us, don't they?) investigate under oath, and prosecute their benefactors is not going to be easy.
Here's what the Bible of the insurance industry, Insurance Journal, is reporting about campaign donations to the political class.
Insurance Contributors Favor Republicans; Santorum, Clinton, McGavick Top RecipientsInsurance-related contributors to this year's midterm Congressional races are favoring Republicans 2-to-1 over Democrats while the overall total given by insurance interests appears down from two years ago.
According to the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics, insurance political action committees and individuals in the industry had given a total of $22.8 million to candidates in House and Senate races as of Sept. 11, with 66 percent or $15.1 million of that going to Republicans.
Democratic candidates for federal offices have received about $7.5 million.
. . .Top recipients from insurance
The CRP tally of top beneficiaries of insurance giving places two politicians not found together on many of the same lists in the top spots and a former insurance executive in the third position.
The top 10 recipients of insurance political donations (based on FEC data released Oct. 11) are Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa. ($416,000); Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y. ($340,000); Michael McGavick, Republican former Safeco Insurance executive running for Senate in Washington ($280,000); Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., $262,000); Sen. Mike DeWine, R-Ohio ($253,000); Sen. John Kyl, R-Ariz. ($241,000); Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn. ($239,000); Rep. Nancy Johnson, R-Conn. ($229,000); Rep. Deborah Pryce, R-Ohio ($218,000); and Rep. Mark Kennedy, Republican Senate candidate in Minnesota.
Others top recipients of insurance monies include Sen. James Talent, R-Mo.; Rep. Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D.; Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del.; Sen. George Allen, R-Va.; Rep. Sue Kelly, R-N.Y.; Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va.; Rep Tom Reynolds, R-N.Y.; Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D.; Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Me.; and Rep. Jim McCrery, R-La.
Back to Wellpoint, the company is not meeting analysts expectations because its medical-loss ration is inching up slightly, so in order to please Wall Street the criminal company will have to squeeze us even more.
The company's benefit expense ratio, a key barometer that measures medical costs as a percentage of premium dollars, worsened by a tenth of a percentage point to 81.3% from the second quarter and by 1.8 percentage points from a year earlier.
WellPoint said the worsening of the ratio, which came in below several analysts' expectations, resulted mainly from adding the New York state prescription drug contract, which has a higher-than-average benefit expense ratio, and increased medical expenses for a federal employee contract.
Would someone, anyone, explain to me why our health--whether we live or die--is equated with worsening Wall Street expectations.
Do all of you recognize that healthcare and health insurance in the United States has nothing, I repeat nothing to do with providing for the common good, or national security? It has one goal only: Wall Street and profits.